4:32pm Friday 16th August 2013
By Ashley Barnard
DESCENDANTS of Richard III have won the right to bring High Court action against plans to bury his remains in Leicester – but have been warned by a judge to avoid a legal “War of the Roses Part Two.”
Many of his relatives want the body buried in York, claiming it was the King’s wish.
His bones were discovered under a Leicester council car park last year and the plan was for them to be re-interred in the city's cathedral.
He was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and his body taken to Leicester by supporters of the victorious Henry VII and buried in Greyfriars church.
But a High Court judge in London has given permission to the Plantagenet Alliance to bring judicial review proceedings against the Justice Secretary and the University of Leicester.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, in granting permission for a hearing later in the year, said: “The archaeological discovery of the mortal remains of a former King of England after 500 years is without precedent.
"It is ironic that the Wars of the Roses appear to be returning whence they started - the Temple.
“I would, however, urge the parties to avoid embarking on the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part Two.
“In my view, it would be unseemly, undignified and unedifying to have a legal tussle over these royal remains.”
Richard III grew up at Middleham Castle in the Yorkshire Dales and visited York several times during his 26-month reign.
His remains were discovered after a search project set up by Philippa Langley, originally from Blackwell, Darlington.
A spokesman for the University of Leicester said: “The University is currently digesting the content of the judgment, which raises a number of important and complex issues.
“The University continues to take the view that the claim is without merit and that this is the conclusion which the court is likely to reach once it has had the benefit of hearing detailed evidence.
“The University maintains that it is entirely proper and fitting the remains of Richard III be buried in the holy setting of Leicester Cathedral, near where his remains had lain for centuries and where they were finally discovered as a result of what the court described as 'the inspired, determined and meticulous work' of the university and members of the Richard III Society.”
Richard III’s ancestor Michael Ibsen said: “I've followed the project from the outset and I support re-interment in Leicester Cathedral as entirely fitting and appropriate.”
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